ONE PRECIOUS PEARL 10-6-19

One Precious Pearl

October 6th, 2019

Last month both Mazon and Braceville held their all-town garage sales, where people set out items they no longer had a use for, so other people could rummage through them hoping to find a treasure.  As they say, ‘one man’s junk is another man’s treasure’.  And as you heard in our second Scripture reading (1 Corinthians 1:18-30), that is true also with the message of the Gospel, salvation through Jesus Christ.  Many think our faith is nothing more than worthless junk and that living for Christ is wasting our lives.  But we know that it is just the opposite – that living for the here and now, and not preparing for eternity, is throwing away something extremely valuable. 

Matthew 13:45-46 tells of “a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!”  He sold everything for one precious pearl!   Ed told me he would gladly sell all three of his drag cars if he could find one perfect black on black ’65 Mustang fastback, with a 4-speed, 427 FE hi-riser, a teardrop bubble hood scoop and Cragar supertrick wheels.  But sell EVERYTHING?  Not unless he wants to live in that car! 

Luke 18:18-30 tells of a wealthy ruler that came to Jesus, asking how to inherit eternal life.  Jesus, knowing his heart, first told him to follow the commandments, which the ruler then claimed he had followed perfectly all his life.  Of course, we know no one has ever led a perfect life other than Jesus himself.  So then Jesus revealed his heart to him by telling him to sell all of his possessions, give the money to the poor, and come follow him.  This the wealthy ruler was not willing to do, and he went away sad.  His earthly treasures meant more to him than following Jesus and inheriting eternal life.  Keep in mind that Jesus was not saying that you must be dirt poor in order to enter the Kingdom of God.  For he went on to tell his disciples that while it is easier for camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven, with God nothing is impossible.  Remember what the Lord said to Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7, “People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”  It was not that the wealthy ruler could have bought a ticket to heaven by selling everything he owned.  His money couldn’t buy his way into heaven.  His heart needed to be right with God.  That is what Jesus was trying to show him. 

Jesus came to this earth to turn the blackest hearts into hearts full of love.  Love for God first of all, and then love for one another. When we love money, possessions, and the good life, MORE than we love God, MORE than we care for our fellow man, our priorities are not right, and our hearts are not right with God. 

In Luke 4:5-8 Satan tried to tempt Jesus by offering him all the kingdoms of this world if he would only worship him instead of God.  And he tries to tempt us as well, to take our eyes off of God and focus on the things of this world.  To lay up treasures here, instead of treasures in heaven.  For as you heard in our third Scripture reading, “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

What are you searching for in life?  What is that one precious pearl you are looking for?  Jesus is the pearl of great price, His value far beyond anything that is on this earth.  When you have Jesus, you have everything, and it will all be yours forever.  My prayer is that all of you already know this, that you have given your life to Jesus, and in return he has given you unimaginable wealth – not the kind that is in the bank, but the kind that is stored both in heaven and in your heart.  Indescribable joy, peace that passes all understanding, overflowing love, and a hope that nothing on earth can shatter.  No thief can steal these, no rust can corrode them.  They will be yours for all eternity. 

But if you are still searching for your one precious pearl, if you haven’t yet turned to Jesus, I pray you ask Him to save you from your spiritual blindness and give you eyes to see the treasure he offers.  Open your heart to him and I promise you will never regret it.

The apostle Paul said, “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him.”  (Philippians 3:8)

 Amen.

VIDEOS:

"First" (Lauren Daigle)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbWQV3OiRqA

"Jesus My Treasure"  (Equip Church International)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfv2fsUOxv4&list=RDnfv2fsUOxv4&start_radio=1